Do I need a level 2 charge station?
A home charging station could be a real asset for any EV driver wanting to benefit from the full potential of their 100% electric car or plug-in hybrid. Charge 5 to 7 times faster using a level 2 charger, powered by 208 to 240 volts instead of a typical level 1 station.
What should you look for in a home charging station?
Due to recent growth of the electric car market, there are more level 2 home charging stations available than ever before. With such a wide range of home chargers, it can be difficult to find one that fits all your needs. This guide will outline every aspect of a home charging station, and help you understand your needs and what features you should look for in a station.
1. Connector type
Type 1 connectors
This type of connector is mainly found in North America and is used for home charging on AC electricity supplies.
The official standard is SAE J1772 and it has a 5-pin plug. You will also come across Type 1 connectors in Australia, but usually on older models of electric car, such as early Nissan Leafs and Kia Soul EVs, plus the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero. However, the new Mitsubishi Outlander – a popular plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – does still have a Type 1 socket for AC charging.
Type 2 connectors
These connectors are the norm in Australia for charging your electric car at home, on a standard AC electricity supply.
Type 2 connectors are often called ‘Mennekes’ connectors, after the German manufacturer that invented the design. They have a 7-pin plug. Type 2 connectors are sometimes referred to by the official standard 62196-2. Most untethered, or ‘universal’, charging points in Australian homes will have a Type 2 socket.
2. Charging speed (amperage and power)
Level 2 home charging stations operate at a voltage between 208V and 240V. The fastest charging you can get out of your charger depends on two factors:
The amperage of the charger (usually 16, 30, 32amps) The car’s acceptance rate in kW The maximum power you can get from 16 amps, 30 amps, 32 amps chargers are the following:
16 amps at 240V : 3,84 kW
30 amps at 240V : 7,2 kW
32 amps at 240V : 7,7 kW - 22 kW
Today, the max power acceptance of the vast majority of EVs is 7.2 kW or less. This means that even with a charger of 22 kW and 32 amps, most cars won’t charge any faster. Using a charger that outputs more power than what your car can accept won’t damage it. Your EV will simply take as much as possible. That being said, every vehicle with a higher power acceptance than 7.2 kW will charge faster with a 40 amp char
You can consult our technician via email to discover which charging solution would be optimal for you.
Why should you choose a 22kw 3 phase charger if the majority of EVs can’t yet accept that power?
Firstly, the available voltage varies between 208V and 240V. This means that if the only voltage available is 208V, a 30 amp charging station will deliver a maximum power of 6.34 kW, while 32 amps at 208V will deliver 8.32 kW of power. In this instance, only the 32 amp charger will charge your electric car with 7.2 kW of power acceptance at the maximum possible speed.
Secondly, car manufacturers will progressively increase the power acceptance rate of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in order to decrease the charging time. If you purchase a 32 amp charging station, you will benefit from the most optimal charge even with the next generation of EVs.
3. Smart features and their utility
An interesting option to augment your charging experience is a smart charging station also referred to as connected or Wi-Fi connected as seen in our range of EVNEX R-Series chargepoints. Smart stations don’t charge any faster, but it gives you full control of your charger and provides data:
Mobile app control: this feature is useful for chargers installed outdoors because whenever a car connects to it, you will receive a notification asking you to confirm or deny access. This is rather useful if you want to limit who can charge at your house. Data monitoring: this function gives you data relative to your charging habits at home, giving you insight into your charging costs. You can download the EVNEX app for IOS or iphone via the mobile app page.
4. Location of the installation
Most charging stations are made for both indoor and outdoor use, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°C even with severe weather conditions like rain, snow, and ice. Because it is made in New Zealand, the EVNEX charging station is capable of functioning properly in extreme temperatures.
5. Cable length
One of the most important elements of a charging station is the cable that charges your electric car. It is essential to know how and where your vehicle will be parked to measure the cable length required. Cable length varies anywhere between 3m and 7.5m, but we highly recommend a cable that is at least 5m long. If 5m is not sufficient, you can add a cable extension providing an extra 10m of cable.
The second most important aspect about the cable is its flexibility. The more flexible it is, the easier it is to roll it up or use it in winter. The EVNEX station’s cable is ultra flexible, providing a superior experience in winter compared to other models on the market.
Most charging station warranties cover the whole charging station for 2-3 years including the cable and connector. EVNEX offer a 3 year warranty on the R-Series chargepoints.
7. Other aspects to take into consideration
Certain models include a holster to hold the cable and connector, which can be very useful to keep them out of harm’s way and in good condition. Another thing to consider is the overall appearance of the charger. All charging stations are different and some will offer a more elegant and modern design, others more robust, but it is important not to prioritize the aesthetic appearance at the expense of other features such as power output, cable length, anti-theft or a cashless payment option.
In conclusion, the first and most important step when buying your charging station is to concisely outline your present-day needs, and also take into consideration your future needs. Ideally you should purchase a charging station that fits your budget and lifestyle, today and for years to come. Now that you are much more familiar with charging stations, we invite you to take a look at the different options we have available to fit for your lifestyle in our online store.
If you require installation of your chargepoint we can help. We have a network of preferred installation partners that can quote your installation from Dunsborough and Busselton through to Perth, up north to Canarvon and beyond. Find out more about our installations